Welcome to the faceless future of banking

A prototype of a Diebold bank branch of the future.
Source: Diebold

Peek into the future of bank branches and you won't see many bankers.

In the years ahead—sooner rather than later—banks will continue to shutter their satellites and turn to other means to perform the services once done at the branches.

Community-level banking, particularly from large institutions, will become more cost efficient and less personal. Where there once stood smiling tellers at windows there now will be, under at least one scenario, equally pleasant avatars programmed to do their customers' bidding.

Banks shut some 1,407 branches in 2014, a near record and a trend that is likely to continue, according to SNL Financial.

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But even though those branches are going away, demand for services they provide to communities across the country remains. It will be the delivery of those services that will change the most.

"The idea eventually is for full teller replacement," said Devon Watson, vice president of new business and solution incubation, global research and development at Diebold. "This is intended to get customers thinking about the next generation of problems."